Conflict theory, which originates from Karl Marx’s early works, is based on the idea of various groups competing for scarce resources, conflict, struggle and turmoil will arise. The problems include the difference between Democrats and Republicans, racial conflicts, and gender conflicts. Such problems will begin to appear because if everyone is fighting for the same thing, there will be no more of that such resource to fight for. In Paul Fussel’s book, Class he expresses many instances and issues in which there is much competition for.
First of course, it begins with the different classes competing for different things. For instance
“Garages: the upper middle class and middle class house used to act ashamed of it’s garage, concealing it well in back with other unseemly outbuildings.”(77)
This shows the way in which the middle class struggles to be a part of the community. But now one may look and think, the more car garages there are, the more cars a family may have which of course means they must be rich and part of the upper class. The middle class may feel like there is always something to prove, they compete for more respect in the eyes of society and the government.
Fussel refers to this idea when he says,
“ The automobile, like the all important domestic
façade, is another mechanism for outdoor class
There he is stating that not only what your front yard looks like matters, the cars, which you own also, matter just as much. But he goes on to say that it actually brings down you class and is tasteless to show off what one has. To have a less flashy car is having more class. Even to go so far as to decorate your television set to try and look classier is portrayed as ridiculous in the eyes of Fussel.
Later, Fussel goes on to talk about food. Even food is considered a way of judging a person. People compete in the way they serve their food. It’s part of the competition of class status, based on the way one serves the food.